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When they fled Syria, the Gs and their two children packed what pieces of their life they could carry. Ruwaida made sure to take her molds–the ones her mother used to teach her how to bake traditional Syrian cookies. When she wanted to show gratitude to her new American friends, Ruwaida would bake cookies to serve alongside cardamom- spiced coffee, even as the family struggled to make food last.
Now the late 20-something is
considering starting a business with the carved pieces of wood that have
seen her through births, deaths, celebrations, and war. A mother at 17
who has never worked outside the home, Ruwaida is embracing the
opportunities her new life in America is offering. Through her cookies,
she hopes to share a side of Syria that most Americans sadly won’t get
to experience—one that is warm, generous, and so very sweet.